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Injured Rally Driver repays WAA by summiting Wales’s tallest mountain

A rally driver will conquer Snowdon at nightfall to raise funds for the helicopter charity who came to his aid, after his race car fell 250 metres down a mountain.

Dan Saunders, Cwmbran, was acting as a co-driver in the 2016 Welsh Marches Mini Epynt Stages, when his rally car flew 20ft into the air and plummeted into the rocky terrain of the Brecon Beacons.

The rally-driver and his partner, Mandy, are taking part in the Snowdon Sunrise walk, a trek up Wales’ tallest mountain at night, in aid of Wales Air Ambulance.

The Welsh helicopter charity flew to Dan’s aid, giving him emergency treatment at the roadside before airlifting him to specialist care at Price Charles Hospital in Merthyr Tydfil.

Dan said: “The accident happened on the notorious Epynt ranges. We had completed the first two stages and were lying around eleventh place overall.

“We were about 200 yards from the finish. We carried far too much speed, and Martin, my driver, straightened the car up to reduce the risk of rolling.

“The car was 20ft in the air, and we went straight off down the side of the mountain.

“Myself and Martin needed urgent help. I had fractured my back in three places, and had fractured my pelvis.

“I could still move my feet and my hands but the pain in my back was horrific.

“By the time the emergency team had got me out of the car and back on the road, I was told that Wales Air Ambulance was on its way.

“I feel like I owe Wales Air Ambulance a lot, there will always be a soft spot in my heart for them.”

Dan and his partner Mandy will take on the August Snowdon Sunrise Expedition, to raise funds for Wales Air Ambulance.

The Cwmbran couple will scale Wales’ tallest mountain by moonlight, collecting donations to fund the charity’s lifesaving missions.

Dan said: “Myself and my partner, Mandy, want to repay Wales Air Ambulance for what they have done for me.

“We hope to raise as much as we can for a wonderful charity, that will always be close to my heart.”

Each of Wales Air Ambulance’s missions cost around £1,500, and every year the charity needs to raise £6.5 million to fund its operations.

The Snowdon Sunrise walk was set up by Breese Adventures, inviting novices and experienced walkers to take part to fundraise for Wales Air Ambulance.

Mark Stevens, Wales Air Ambulance Fundraising Manager, said: “We are so touched that Dan and Mandy have thought to fundraise for us.

“It is fantastic that almost a year on from his accident, Dan will be summiting Wales’ tallest mountain.

“It is a testament to how fast medical intervention, and quick transfer to specialist care, can make a vital difference in recovery.

“Our services rely on kind support and donations to complete our missions across Wales.

“Their fundraising will allow us to keep our helicopters flying, and will fund a lifesaving mission to help someone in Wales in their hour of need.”

If you would like to sponsor Dan and Mandy, click here:


  1. Peter Lewis13 Feb 2017 19:47:53

    I will sponsor Dan And Mandy to climb mt Snowden for £50.00p

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